Our aim is to find out how people are principally positioned towards the idea of robots taking over leadership functions in operations. In this context, it is necessary to distinguish between the technical possibilities (different types of robots), the work tasks, as well as the resulting management tasks.
To date, operational cooperation between humans and robots has been researched primarily in production. This is because the technology is intended to reduce heavy physical work. This use is generally accepted among employees – because the robot is only perceived as “human-like” when artificial intelligence is implemented. So far, the most widespread are language assistance systems such as Siri (Apple) or web chats (see “Anna” on Ikea.com). This artificial intelligence can be packaged in different ways: in a human-like plastic housing with a face or as a screen projection. But what kind of robot can people imagine at their own workplace not only as a colleague but also as a manager?
The investigation was carried out by means of a survey, in which the automation potential at one' s own workplace was to be assessed.
Furthermore, the interaction of employees with a digital manager in the form of an avatar was examined in an experiment.